Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady?

Our back yerd has become home for a number of feral cats. Two of the adult females have had kittens. Over time we have trapped all of them and had them spayed or neutered. This one little cat family. The mama kitty is in the front, along with her two kittens:

This is the female kitten. We call her "Little Sister".

This is the male kitten. We call him "Spot".

This is mama kitty number 2:

This is where I digress for a minute. The picture below is mama kitty number 2 watching one of her kittens eat.

This kitten's story is interesting. Her name is Pip.

Pip was one of a litter of four. As feral cats will do, they all ran from us when we came outside. All except Pip, that is. One day I came outside and, as usual, the mama and three kittens ran from me. But little Pip was just sitting there looking at me. She was so tiny and she had what looked like a bad eye. I thought maybe she was sick. I reached over to her... and she let me pick her up! I was so surprised. I took her next door to show my cat-loving neighbors. Then I took her to the vet. They proclaimed her basically healthy, just a little dehydrated and with an eye inflammation. They gave me medicine for her. We kept her inside for a few days and her eye cleared up. We let her go back outside to play with her littermates. She remained friendly to us, and ran to come in the house when we opened the door. It was clear that this little kitten wanted to live indoors. My cat-loving neighbor knew a woman who was looking for a kitten. Pip found a home with the woman and her family. As it turns out, the woman has a son who is autistic, and he loves this kitten and cares for her. Her bed is in his room, but she usually sleeps in his bed. It seems to have turned out great for both the kitten and the family.

Okay, the third cat family is the "little black kitties". They were the first ones we discovered, under our next door neighbor's porch. They are all female, and have all been spayed as well. They were a litter of four. We adopted the friendliest one, who lives in the house with us and our other three cats. The other three make themselves at home outside, as you can see.

My husband and I feed all of these cats every day. They have become tame enough not to run away from us, but they do back up just out of reach! We have put out little shelters that consist of "kitty cubes" (sold at Walmart) inside stacking bins to provide stability.

The photo above was taken last winter. You can see the kitty shelters we made in the background, as well as all the snow we had to shovel around them. I am hoping to provide some more substantial shelter for them this winter and, now that cold weather is upon us, I am looking around for materials to use. I've been looking on ebay for second hand kids' playhouses. There are some reasonably priced ones, but they all require local pickup and they are not close to me. This is where my husband calls me the "crazy cat lady". He thinks they will be fine with the little shelters. But I still worry about them. If I had a handyman in the family, maybe we could build a little "cat house"; but we don't. So... what would you do?


Natalie said...

You are my favorite and most honorable *crazy cat lady.* That little kitty... I was making plans for you to ship him to me... so cute is he. I am very happy he has a good home. I know very well how much a good pet can mean to a child with Autism. The last picture... the three blacks in the snow... that is beautiful.
(((hugs))) for you Judy.

rachel said...

Oh, I'd go for building them a shelter, and making it as warm and comfortable as you possibly can - not only for them, but so that you and your husband - who I bet is as soft-hearted as you - don't lie awake worrying about your little outdoor families on wild blizzardy winter nights!

You're a really good person, you know that?

Susan said...

hey ya cat lady !

much love from the cats at 29 Black Street we have a feral around our house a (only 1 not an entire pride ;-) tabby male that we feed - Bruce we call him xo Susan & les Gang

Linda said...

What a kind heart you have to take care of kitties that come to you. My aunt has a family living in her back yard. The FATHER kitty (who had been a regular for about a year) brought his 3 kittens home with him one day last spring. No sign of a mother ever. My aunt has since been able to catch all and has had them all neutered. They are the best fed wild cats I've ever seen!

I share our home with 2 dear kitties that have both been rescues. My son has brought them in, just as I did to my mom & dad when I was a girl at home.

Thanks for sharing your pictures & story.